All students are required to complete a final paper by the due date set by each program. Future SFP applications, recommendations, or acknowledgement of the award on Caltech transcripts will be jeopardized by not completing this requirement in a timely fashion. Please read all instructions below!
Final Report Writing Requirements
Final reports should be clear, concise, and written for a broad scientific audience. Consult with your mentor to determine a style usually used in their discipline.
Use clear, significant words when writing your paper and avoid using jargon or specialized terms whenever possible. It is often useful for authors to have students in other disciplines read their papers to improve clarity. Work with your mentor and co-mentor to edit your paper.
Final Report Format:
Faculty Mentor (and Co-Mentor if applicable)
Instructions for Uploading Final Paper
Students must upload a draft of the final paper by their program due date:
- CSU STAR Students: September 1
- All Other JPL Students: Monday of final week.
All other students: Fourth Friday in September.
The paper must be in PDF format, and must not exceed 10MB. (If you absolutely can't make your paper smaller than 10MB, please contact email@example.com for instructions.) Once the paper is uploaded it will be locked in the system, and your mentor will be sent a message containing instructions for accessing your paper online. Your mentor then has two options:
- Approve your paper as is. You will receive confirmation of this action via e-mail.
- Return your paper and give suggestions for improvements. You will receive confirmation of this action via e-mail along with your mentor's comments. When your paper is returned, it is unlocked in the system. This allows you to incorporate your mentor's suggestions, go online to delete your previous paper, and then upload the new version. Your mentor will again receive instructions for accessing your paper and the whole process starts again. This can continue as many times as necessary until your mentor gives final approval of your paper.
Once your paper is approved, your paper will remain locked. If you would like to submit a revised version of your paper after a previous version has been approved, e-mail your revised paper to firstname.lastname@example.org and we will replace your old paper with the new version.
Mentors must approve the final paper no later than November 1.
Submissions to CURJ
Students may submit any paper that follows the SFP final report guidelines to the Caltech Undergraduate Research Journal (CURJ). CURJ editors will work with authors to prepare their articles for publication, if selected.
A publication release signed by the head of the laboratory (not a graduate student or postdoc) will also be required. This document is legally binding. You and your mentor are advised to consult with the appropriate journals and must resolve any copyright issues before submission. Once your paper is accepted, it cannot be withdrawn.
Additional Publishing Opportunities
Students are encouraged to further develop their scientific writing skills and to share their research. The Council on Undergraduate Research keeps a list of undergraduate research journals where students can submit their work. Please note, it is important to consult with your mentor before sharing your research at a conference or in a publication.